Jan 19, 2021

Axios PM

Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 485 words, a 2-minute read.

⚡️ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol was "provoked by the president and other powerful people." Video.

1 big thing: 100K dead since mid-December
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Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Calamity in real time: The U.S. has lost nearly 3,000 people a day to the coronavirus since the start of the Christmas holidays.

Why it matters: There could be many more months like this, and that's if President-elect Joe Biden's vaccine plan is a success.

  • "If we [vaccinate] efficiently in April, May, June, July, August, we should have that degree of protection that could get us back to some form of normality. ... But we've also got to do it on a global scale," Anthony Fauci said.
2. "Delaware will be written on my heart"

President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks in New Castle, Delaware, today. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

An emotional Joe Biden left Delaware today to become the 46th president of the United States.

  • “It’s deeply personal that our journey to Washington starts here,” the longtime senator told people outside the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center.

Biden will focus tomorrow's inaugural speech, expected at 20–30 minutes, on national unity during this historic crisis.

  • Ahead of being sworn in, he'll attend Mass with congressional leadership, including top Republicans Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will be skipping President Trump's departure ceremony to attend.

The bottom line: “When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart," Biden said.

3. Trump: We "did what we came here to do"
Screenshot: Trump farewell address (YouTube)

In a farewell video address less than 24 hours before the end of his term, President Trump said that his administration "did what we came here to do — and so much more."

Why it matters: The address is very different from the Trump we've seen in his final weeks as president, Alayna Treene notes.

  • He condemned the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters and added, "As I prepare to hand power over to a new administration ... I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning."
  • "I am especially proud to be the first president in decades who has started no new wars."

What's next: Expect a flurry of last-minute pardons and commutations over the coming hours.

4. Catch up quick
Preparations are made ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration in front of the White House. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters
  1. The U.S. declared China's actions against Uighurs "genocide." Go deeper.
  2. A survey of 150 C-suite executives found that 29% are considering moving their operations to another state or country. Go deeper.
  3. 🎧 Axios Re:Cap speaks with Bill Browder to better understand the Alexei Navalny situation and how the U.S. might respond. Listen here.
5. 1 smile to go: Positive baby names

Pandemic-era kids, passing Macy's Herald Square in Manhattan. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Hope in the pandemic: New parents are turning to names that suggest optimism and strength, the N.Y. Times reports.

Among the surging searches:

  • "Views of the name Zora, for example, which means 'dawn' and suggests new beginnings, are up 40 percent ... Alma ('soul' in Spanish) is up 37 percent."
  • "Other risers include Vivienne (from the Latin root Vivus, meaning 'alive' or 'lively'), Aurora (Roman goddess of the sunrise), Felix ('happy'), Frida ('peaceful') and Zuri ('good' in Swahili)."
  • P.S. Biblical names are making a comeback too, including "Gabriel, Elijah, Esther, Lilith and even Naomi."